Last Sunday was a sobering experience, as we were thrashed at the Etihad Stadium. It has become the norm to be well beaten by Manchester City and this was a reminder of where the team is currently.
Hopefully, we will improve in the coming seasons and afternoons like this become less common. It was nice to see Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier back in action.
Below we look at three interesting stats from the game:
Callum Wilson – 0.3 expected goals
It has been a frustrating season for Callum Wilson, but this cameo was a reminder of his qualities. He was easily our most threatening player and he showed what we have been missing.
He had the joint highest expected goals (xG) in our team, alongside Jamaal Lascelles. The captain was a set piece threat, but we didn’t carry much of a threat in open play.
Wilson came on and showed his intelligence in the final third. He managed to get behind the City defence, but his effort was saved by Ederson. The finish showed some rustiness in his game, but the movement was excellent.
There was another occasion where he found space in the box. He didn’t connect with the cross, but it was good centre forward play.
Joelinton – 92.6% pass success rate
One of the problems for Newcastle in recent seasons has been an ability to keep hold of the ball. We have been wasteful in possession, but this game showed the improvements made under Eddie Howe.
All central midfielders had a pass completion above 88.5%. Joelinton had the highest with 92.6%. This is significantly higher than his season average of 77.6%.
It has been spoken about how Joelinton has learned a new role this season. On Sunday, this was the latest development in his game, as he was tidy in possession and always chose the right options.
To do this against a team as good as Manchester City is impressive.
Bruno Guimaraes – 8 tackles
It is a weekly occurrence that we discuss Bruno Guimaraes in this column and he features again. He has world class ability and it isn’t surprising that he didn’t look out of place in this game.
The Brazilian international impressed with and without the ball. He made eight tackles in the game, which was more than any other player in the game. The next most was Miguel Almiron with four.
Guimaraes has had a very good first few months in England. If we manage to sign quality players around him, he will thrive in this league. This showed that he could compete against the very best.